All eyes are on two key legislative sessions in China that kick off this coming weekend as the country moves away from its “zero-COVID” approach to combating the pandemic.

China is currently facing some significant headwinds at home and abroad, with Xi Jinping looking to shore up support after securing an unprecedented third term as general-secretary of the Communist Party in October.

Beijing has been roundly criticized for maintaining ties with Russia in spite of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, while geopolitical tensions have risen over the past month after a spy balloon traced back to China was shot down over North American airspace.